A shortlist of 21 local businesses have been announced as finalists in the Taste Local Awards 2019, which celebrate the use of local food by businesses in Skye & Lochalsh.
The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony to be held at the Sligachan Hotel on 27th February. Winners receive ‘A Taste of Local Food’ plaque which can be mounted on the outside wall of their premises for two years.
The shortlisted local companies were among more than 270 nominated online by businesses and members of the public during the nomination period which ran during November and December.
A panel of six local producer judges assessed entrants based on answers supplied after nomination, comments within the nominations and their own specialist knowledge. The judging panel includes Anthony Hovey of Skye Vegetables, Glenys MacLean of Isle of Skye Free Range, Roger Whiddon of Isle of Skye Fresh Produce, Rachael Jackson of Orbost Farm, Alistair Wilson of Isle of Skye Distillers and Nanette Muir of Isle of Skye Sea Salt.
Judge Rachael Jackson said: “Shortlisting more than 270 entries to 29 was no easy task given the quality of the nominations we received. These are businesses that not only support local producers but who have customers who love them for doing so. These awards are a true celebration of supporting local produce in the area and reflective of a wider trend and desire for locally produced food.”
Organiser and awards manager Natalie Bayfield said: “A huge congratulations to everyone who was nominated and those who have made the final shortlist for the Taste Local Awards 2019. The sheer number of nominations and the high calibre of entries proves just how much our region has to offer. We look forward to revealing the winners at the awards ceremony on 27 February.”
The Taste Local Awards are run by the Skye and Lochalsh Food Link CIC in partnership with Skye Connect.
The awards have been designed to also raise awareness of the Food Link van service run by Skye and Lochalsh Food Link CIC, which helps connect and distribute local produce to local outlets.
The Taste Local Awards are run by Natalie Bayfield, awards manager for Skye & Lochalsh Food Link CIC, along with John Corfield of the Isle of Skye Smokehouse, John Coghill of the Sligachan Hotel and Luke Slater of Pelican Design.
The shortlist across the ten categories are:
Best Restaurant: Edinbane Lodge, Loch Bay, Red Roof
Best Restaurant with Rooms: Coruisk House, The Stein Inn, Ullinish Lodge
Best Café or Coffee Shop: An Crubh, Beth’s Deli & Cafe, Isle of Skye Baking Co.
Best Community Café: An Crubh, Open Door Cafe
Best Pop up, Food Event or Takeaway: Buth Bheag, Carters Cabin, Glendale Highland Market
Best Hotel: Cuillin Hills Hotel, Duisdale House Hotel, The Plockton Hotel
Best B&B or Guesthouse: Coruisk House, Hillstone Lodge, Sea Drift B&B
Best Retailer: Beth’s Deli & Café, An Crubh, Buth Bheag
Best Pub: Seamus’ Bar, Stein Inn, The Old Inn
Best Newcomer: Beth’s Deli & Café, Edinbane Lodge, Gasta at Armadale Castle